Pete got really sick on Saturday, and I was mostly keeping a safe distance from him. At one point I went into our bedroom where he was crashed out on the bed, vulnerable, humble and physically and emotionally broken. He sobbed as he told me that he was defeated. He knew he had to surrender the embarrassment he felt when I told people about the reality of our life. He said that he knew God wanted him to really be humble, but he had no idea how to BE humble. He said he only had one option, and that was to overcome this, but right now it felt too hard. He said he knew he was still holding on to control but he didn’t know HOW to let go.
My anger started to soften as he offered a little bit of his soul to me. And I told him about the gaps in my life that I could see had closed. The chasm from where I once had been to where I was now. And I didn’t know HOW they had closed, just that they had. And that there were still gaps I needed to close. I still see an improved version of myself on the next ridge ahead.
But I believe that he will cross that canyon too. Someday he will look back at that day in the bed, about the conversations with me, about his fears and shame, and he will see that he isn’t that person anymore. He might not be able to say when or what changed, but that he is different.
I feel differently about needs now. I think of them as the tools I use to get from here to there. I’m careful to define my needs in terms of things I can control. I can pick them up, and set them down. I can trade them in for new ones. And hopefully sooner rather than later, I can grow from being told which tools to use, to being capable of managing my own belt.
I need to have people who are on the inside of my reality. I need to feel loved and accepted. I need support and kindness. I need quality time with people who I can be honest with. I need independence to make decisions without being manipulated. I need therapy. I need validation. I need to be SEEN and HEARD. I need to read about recovery. I need to talk about recovery. I need someone in my family to be gentle with me. I need friends to go to when I need space from my husband. I need community.